avalanche awareness

Avalanche Awareness Course

The Avalanche Awareness Course is a New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) accredited course for skiers & snowboarders.

The focus of the course is to give backcountry travellers the foundation skills and knowledge to make safe decisions when travelling in avalanche terrain and what to do if someone in your party is caught in an avalanche.

Queenstown Mountain Guides use experienced mountain guides, ski touring guides, heli-skiing guides, and  ski patrollers that have real experience working professionally in the industry.  Your experienced instructor will share with you their personal real life experience in decision making, avalanche forecasting, and avalanche rescue.

The Avalanche Awareness Course is held over one 3 hour evening session on the first night and then followed by a full day at the Remarkables ski field. Prior to the course you need to complete the Online Avalanche Theory Course and QUIZ. This is a requirement for the field day and will help you get the most out of the course.

Avalanche Awareness Course skills syllabus

  • Introduction to the avalanche phenomenon - snowpack layering, triggers, avalanche types, avalanche sizes.
  • Avalanche terrain - slope angles, aspects, altitude/elevation, trigger points, terrain traps, avalanche terrain exposure scale
  • Conditions - Identifying signs of snow instability
  • Decision making
  • Safe travel techniques
  • Route finding in avalanche terrain
  • Rescue - Avalanche Transceivers, probing, shovelling technique
If you would like to attend the Avalanche Awareness Course please click on the book now button at the top right hand side of the page.


Other related trips

2 Day Backcountry Travel Course

6 Day Ski Mountaineering & Backcountry Avalanche Course


Sample Itinerary

Evening Lecture

Meet at 7.00pm at the Harris Mountains Heli-Skiing Office for a 3 hour lecture and slide show on the avalanche phenomenon.

Field day

Meet at ski area at 9am. Full day at Remarkables Ski field. The field day will finish at 5.00 pm


Map 2014

3 - 12

Map 2014

1.5 days



Map 2014



2019 avalanche awareness dates:

AA # 1  June 28th - 29th

AA # 2  July 12th - 13th

AA # 3  July 26th - 27th

AA # 4  August 9th - 10th

AA # 5  August 23rd - 24th

Experience Required

Whats Included

The price of the program includes

  • Guide fees
  • Group equipment
  • Department of Conservation concession fees

The price of the program excludes

  • Remarkables Ski Field Day Pass (Required for field day)
  • Personal equipment & clothing
  • Avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe (hire available for $20)
  • Lunch & snack food

More Information

equipment list